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An Explanation of Unified Platforms and Universal Systems

AffinoAffino Unified Digital Business PlatformComplete Digital Business SolutionComplete Digital Front-endDigital Business PlatformResourceSingle SourcingUnified Business PlatformUnified PlatformsUniversal Systems+-

Back in the day - when you bought a car, say 10-20 years ago, you really just got the basics for your money. Pretty much everything we now expect as standard kit was an optional extra back then. Quite a number of the optional extras were procured from 3rd party suppliers - things like your In-Car-Entertainment systems.


In fact In-Car-Entertainment has now moved several steps forward as we no longer see the luxury screens embedded into the back of head-rests - nowadays passengers prefer to use their own personal tablets. When my brother takes his three kids on extended trips across Europe - it’s the fact that each child has an iPad which keeps them occupied and maintains a happy atmosphere over the three days of driving to and from the resort. Everything else that goes on in the car is controlled from a central console.


You might consider your smartphone in a similar vein. Mine now doubles up as a camera, music player, notepad, map, calculator, torch, credit card and travel alarm clock. For some people, their smartphone is all they need to carry on them - as it can open their front door too, and control all their domestic automation as well - lights, heating, appliances etc.


Both these are examples of Universal Systems - that is to say multi-functional devices which channel an enormous array of features through a single interface. To be fully Universal, the systems must be wholly Unified too. So you have the one side which runs everything together, and the other facet where you can have seamless and universal control.


Affino Unified Digital Business Platform

Affino’s methodology is all based around the idea of a Universal System - a complete digital front-end for you to manage all of the key activities of your digital business - whichever devices it is accessed through. Most comparable system builds to Affino use as many as 20 different technologies which need to be knitted together via randomly updating connecting integrations. As these systems are mostly autonomous they have their own databases and management interfaces.


Affino’s approach is entirely unified / single-sourced - much like the modern motorcars, it brings together all the essentials within a single shell, with a single core database and superbly informative single interface. Everything is universally connected to each other, making for a uniquely seamless experience for end-users and system admins alike.


There are of course numerous benefits that come with Universal and Unified systems - including lower overheads / greater efficiencies and higher productivity. More than that though these systems are more enabling, you can simply do things which would just be far too complicated and expensive to do any other way.


The Automobile Analogy

In the above image, we’ve attempted to highlight how a modern car system overlaps with that of a similarly Universal system like Affino. For some of the functionality there aren’t direct parallels, but there are enough here to prove the analogy:

  • Analytics / Dashboard = Real-time stats and alerts on exactly what is occurring with all the component parts of the system
  • Automation = Engine Management Computer - connects, sequences, controls and automates all key system functions
  • CMS = Engine, the central drive-train that powers / feeds the whole system
  • CRM = The touch-screen central computers now fitted as standard in most mid- to high-range vehicles - access all the system essentials and effect complete control over your (business) environment
  • Community = Central interactive space which allows several parties to communicate and participate
  • Control = Steering wheel - how you steer the system and point it in the right direction
  • DAM = Digital Assets and Data Management - storage / access for your various media
  • Messaging = Subset of CRM to a degree - organising and controlling communications, messages, notices and alerts
  • Personalisation = Setting preferences per user / customising the environment to exactly fit a particular user’s needs
  • Recruitment = Connecting seekers with vacant seats
  • Security / Metering / Access Control = Controlling who gets access to what, part of the basis for personalisation and ecommerce to a degree - pay-walls etc.


The Members Club Analogy

I’ve often likened a fully-fledged Affino implementation to a Members Club - where you sign in at the door, and then every activity you do, everything you eat and drink gets comped or charged to your account automatically - as appropriate. This is another classic example of a Unified and Universal system where all services are connected together and controlled through a single device - like an EPOS device of some description which links into a central computer via wi-fi. On an Affino site like Procurement Leaders - Chief Procurement Leaders sign in and have access to an enormous range of services in different tiers, some part and parcel of a membership subscription and other special events which are charged individually. The site provides an enormously comprehensive full-service members club vertical - specifically catering for Procurement Officers, and providing them with all the services they need to sustain and build on a great career within that discipline.


You may recall via series like CSI Miami, that some SuperClubs used to have a chip system where high value members had an embedded chip in their arm which helped them gain access to VIP areas etc. and similarly charged victuals and services to an account. The challenge in the future will be seamlessly joining together the online with the offline - to provide a totally immersive 360° experience ...

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2013 PPA Digital Publishing Awards - Procurement Leaders awarded Business Media Digital Brand of the Year